G & S Heating Cooling & Electric Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Shoreline’

How Do Smoke Detectors Work?

Monday, September 10th, 2018

smoke-detectorWe all want to live comfortably in our homes, and that is not really possible if we are not able to live safely in them. You cannot be truly comfortable if you are constantly concerned about worst case scenarios in your living space. That is precisely why modern homeowners have access to so many safety devices readily available for installation in their homes. Chief among these is the smoke detector.

Even the best smoke detector will fail to protect if not installed properly by an electrician in Shoreline, WA, of course.

Fortunately for you, you’re reading this right now. Why is this fortunate? Because it proves that you’ve already found an electrical company that you can trust to do the job the right way: us! Before you go investing in new smoke alarms for your home, we want to make sure that you have a basic understanding of how it is that you smoke detectors work. Read on, and be sure to reach out to us with any questions that you may have.

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Heat Your Home Efficiently with a Heat Pump

Monday, December 4th, 2017

hot-and-cold-homesThere is a lot to love about the Pacific Northwest, from our sweeping mountain views to our vibrant cities and neighborhoods. One other part of life in the PNW that many people enjoy is the fact that our winters are relatively mild. No, not as mild as, say, Arizona’s, but we are not going to see extreme cold the way that they do in Minnesota or Vermont. Even so, you are definitely going to need a great heater installed in your home.

There is a world of difference between “relatively mild” and “comfortable,” after all. Because of our particular climate, the heat pump is actually an ideal solution for people in this area looking to heat their homes in an efficient manner. If you are thinking about replacing your heater this winter (or, for that matter, your air conditioner this summer) then you should definitely be adding the heat pump to your shortlist. Read on to learn more about how a heat pump in Shoreline, WA can benefit you.

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What to Do About Flickering Lights

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

bulbs-in-mirrorWhen some people think of problems with their electrical system, they may think of circuits that are constantly tripping the breaker, or even of electrical fires started by bad wiring. While these are obviously very real and very legitimate concerns, the fact is that there are plenty of other problems that homeowners may encounter that are not quite so dramatic. Just because they are not particularly dramatic, though, does not mean that they should simply be ignored.

One very common problem with electrical systems is the flickering of lights throughout the house. When homeowners have flickering lights, they may be tempted to just write the problem off as a somewhat minor annoyance. In truth, though, flickering lights could be indicative of a pretty serious problem — or they could be resolved with a very simple fix. In either case, you really should not just learn to live with your flickering lights. Keep this information in mind, and don’t hesitate to schedule service with a professional electrician in Shoreline, WA.

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The Benefits of LED Lighting

Monday, October 9th, 2017

an-incandescent-bulbYou are getting ready for bed, and make a quick trip to the restroom before heading down for a good night’s sleep. You flip the light switch on, and your yawn of exhaustion quickly changes to a groan of frustration as the bulb flashes briefly, and then snuffs out. It is just one of those minor inconveniences that can lead to real aggravation in our lives, and there is really nothing that you can do about it. Right?

Well, it is true that there is no light bulb out there today that is going to last forever. This does not mean, however, that there is not a better option out there. If you are using incandescent light bulbs, or even CFL bulbs, throughout your home, then you are missing out. On what, you ask! All of the benefits that LED lighting has to offer! LED lights are unmatched by competing types of bulbs, and in a number of ways.

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How to Get Your HVAC System Ready for Colder Weather

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

It can be difficult to let go of the warm summer weather and look toward the chillier seasons. But the sooner you prepare for the arrival of colder weather, the more secure you’ll feel—and the less likely that an unexpected repair need will catch you by surprise.

To get your HVAC system ready for winter, you can take a few simple steps to see that the heater is in good condition. Some of the steps you can do on your own, others will require that you contact professionals in heating services in Shoreline, WA and other parts of the Puget Sound Area. For high-quality assistance with your HVAC system, depend on G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We’ve taken care of homes through the winter for more than three and a half decades now.

Some Ways to Prepare Your HVAC Systems

  • Change or clean the air filter: If you have a forced-air heating system such as a furnace or a heat pump, you need to make sure that it has a clean air filter before the heavy work begins for the cold weather. If you have a temporary air filter, take out the current one and replace it. If you use a permanent filter, remove it and wash it off with a hose (making sure you use a gentle water current and direct the water from the back through the filter, so as not to stretch out the fibers). Starting off the winter with a clogged filter can lead to immediate airflow issues and poor performance. Keep changing or cleaning the filter throughout the heating season.
  • Give the heater a test run: Pick a warm day during the fall—a time when you won’t need a working heating system—and turn the heater on for an hour. Listen to its operation. Keep an ear open for any strange sounds that might indicate wear and tear or a repair need. Check on the air vents to see if the airflow is strong. For a radiator, feel that the baseboard heaters are heating up. If anything seems amiss with the way the heater is running, you’ll have sufficient warning about it and can call in repair technicians to fix the problem.
  • Schedule annual pre-season tune-up: This is the most important step of all. You must make use of the knowledge and tools of a professional technician to inspect and tune-up the heating system. During an annual pre-season maintenance visit, an HVAC professional will check for any possible repair issues that might grow worse, take care of adjusting components, and clean and fine-tune the unit so that it works its best.

It’s easy to get started with maintenance: call our team at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We offer a pre-paid maintenance program that not only delivers your HVAC system that help it need preparing for winter, but also gives you a 10% discount on parts and labor for all parts and repairs and priority service. Make us your first call for all your needs for heating in Shoreline, WA.

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Should I Really Call an Electrician for Smoke Detector Installation?

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Smoke detectors were once an additional feature for homes, now they are a necessity that every home needs to have for early warnings of danger from fires and increases in carbon monoxide. But a smoke detector that isn’t well installed or maintained is essentially useless: a smoke detector that fails to come on when it’s supposed to is no help to you.

Calling for electricians in Shoreline, WA to handle the installation of smoke detectors for your home is a smart idea that will make sure you have the peace of mind of a system guarding your family’s safety. Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. for setting up smoke detectors, as well as other home safety and security appliances like whole-house surge protectors and generators.

Why Hire a Professional for Smoke Detector Installation

One of the best ways to know that you can depend on your smoke detector when it’s needed (while hoping that you never need it) is to have it hard-wired into your home’s electrical system. This way it won’t depend on batteries that can run out. The smoke detector will still require batteries as a back-up in case of a power loss, but you will have the extra security that you can’t get from a standard battery-powered system.

These smoke detectors that are hard-wired into your home’s 120V household electrical circuits will need connections to other detectors in the house (if you have more than one). All the units will sound off simultaneously should one of them detect smoke or a rise in carbon monoxide.

Not only will professional electricians manage all the wiring to install and connect the multiple smoke detectors, they will also take care of getting the necessary permits to run the electrical cables or install a circuit on the breaker panel to provide power for the detectors. Professionals will see that everything is up to the local electrical code. (Ironically, poor installation of smoke detectors can lead to fire hazards.)

Make certain that your smoke detectors receive regular inspections and maintenance after they are installed. The same electricians who performed the installation will also take care of seeing that the system is always ready to guard your family against the dangers of house fires.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has skilled electricians in Shoreline, WA to install, maintain, and repair smoke detectors. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and we can go over your options for hard-wired smoke detectors.

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Why DIY Air Conditioning Installation Isn’t a Good Idea

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

DIY can seem easy for anyone when you watch it on TV, but the truth is that many home and property projects are not good choices to do yourself. One type of home project that is better left to a professional is air conditioning installation. Since 1977, G&S Heating, Cooling & Electric, Inc. has helped customers with air conditioning installation in Shoreline.  We’ve seen first-hand the many problems that can arise from DIY AC installations. Before you move ahead with installing your own air conditioning, consider the following reasons why it’s better to use a trained professional.

DIY Can Cost You Money

There are a few ways DIY can cost you more money than hiring a professional:

  • You miss out on special savings – professional HVAC companies purchase equipment and components at lower rates, and these savings can be passed on to our customers.
  • Mistakes can be costly – air conditioning systems are complex, which leaves a lot of room to make mistakes. Mistakes can cost you money, which may add up significantly.
  • Incorrect sizing – purchasing the wrong-sized air conditioner is a common problem with DIY due to incorrect cooling load calculations. Trained technicians know how to correctly calculate cooling loads, ensuring you install the right-sized air conditioner for your home.
  • Safety – air conditioning systems are electro-mechanical appliances, meaning they are not just mechanically sophisticated, they are also electrically complex. In addition, they need refrigerant to run, a chemical that requires a special certification to handle. Unless you are extremely knowledgeable about all of these things, you may be putting yourself and your home at risk.
  • Expeditious installation – professional HVAC technicians install air conditioning systems every day. As a result, they have a level of speed with installation you most likely can’t match.

Always Call an HVAC Expert

It’s important to save money, but when it comes to DIY versus hiring a professional, you need to take a very close look at what you’d really be saving when handling certain home-based projects on your own. Air conditioners are complex systems that require a lot of knowledge and experience for proper installation; if you don’t have it, it may be time to consider using a professional.

Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electric, Inc., today and schedule a consultation with one of our installation experts.

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Should I Also Install a New Thermostat with My New Air Conditioning?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

You’ve planned the installation of a brand new, higher-efficiency air conditioner to replace the aging one in your home. Are you also planning to install a new thermostat along with it? The installer (if you are already thinking of hiring one) has likely suggested that you take this step and make a new thermostat part of the package. This is advice to which you should definitely listen, as we’ll explain.

We’ve seen many types of thermostat in our 37 years of work here at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., so we know all about the benefits of upgrading a thermostat as part of air conditioning installation in Shoreline, WA. Let us assist you with selecting the right new unit for your home so you will receive the most energy-efficient and comfortable performance from your new AC.

Reasons to Upgrade the Thermostat Along with Your Air Conditioner

If you are installing a new air conditioning system, the chances are high that many years have passed since your current one was installed; it may have come with the house when you moved in. Enough time will have gone by for the thermostat to fall far behind the times. The technology of thermostats today is huge strides ahead of where it was only a decade ago. The current programmable thermostats have moved far beyond the models that only had two programming settings, one for day and one for night; now thermostats can provide you with readouts about how much energy you are saving and can even “learn” from your setting history to find the perfect program. The advent of wireless thermostats allows for freer placement of the units and easy remote control. And Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats take control to a whole new level.

But the advantages of an upgrade to a thermostat are about more than the “gee-whiz” features. On a basic level, newer thermostats have better temperature precision; they are certainly superior to the manual models that were once the only option when it came to temperature control. (And if you currently have a manual thermostat, then there’s no question about whether you should have a replacement. Replace it.) More precision means better comfort and better energy efficiency.

Finally, you want to receive the best out of your new air conditioner. The system going into your home will have increased energy performance over the previous one (AC technology has advanced as well), but you won’t receive the full benefits unless you have a thermometer that can take advantage of them.

Our Shoreline, WA air conditioning installation team at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. can help you match up the ideal thermostat upgrade with your new AC. Whether it’s programmable, wireless, “smart,” or Wi-Fi enabled, we will make sure you end up with the best thermostat for your comfort needs.

 

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How to Prepare for a New Air Conditioning Installation in Shoreline

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

You’ve made the decision to move ahead and purchase a new air conditioning system for your property. But whether you are installing an air conditioner for the first time or replacing an outdated unit, there are a number of factors that need to be reviewed, considered and calculated before deciding which system is the best one for your home. Many people believe the main consideration is the square footage of your property, and while square footage is part of the overall picture, it is only one aspect of all that should go into your decision. Your air conditioning installation is for the long-term, so it’s important to work with a specialist from G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., to ensure you install an air conditioning system that meets your needs.

Factors to Consider

There are a number of things to review before installing a new air conditioning system in your home:

Ductwork

Does your home have ductwork? If so, what kind of shape is it in and can it handle the load of a new air conditioning system? Having your ductwork thoroughly inspected by a professional for adequacy, faults, leaks and cleanliness is important to do before installing a new air conditioning system.

Cooling Load

Do you know exactly how much cooling your home will need to be comfortable throughout the day? The cooling load takes into account many factors, including insulation levels, the orientation of your home, daytime heat gain, floor plan, etc. Determining how much cooling you need for your property can be a complicated calculation, so it’s best to do it with a trained professional.

Energy Efficiency

Today’s air conditioners are far more energy efficient than they were just 10 years ago. With new environmental standards in place, whole-home air conditioners now have a range of energy efficiency levels as detailed by SEER numbers (SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency rating). The scale for SEER starts at 0 and goes as high as 23. Since 2006, air conditioners have had to be manufactured with a minimum SEER of 13, but you can choose to purchase a system with a higher rating. Determining what SEER number is best for your property requires some calculation, something with which a professional can help you.

Don’t Go It Alone – Call an HVAC Expert

The more time you take to figure out exactly what you need from your new air conditioning system, the better off you and your property will be. The best way to do this is with a trained expert, like the ones we have at G&S Heating, Cooling and Electric, Inc. Your air conditioner is going to be with you for a long time so make sure your air conditioning installation in Shoreline goes just as you want it to.

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What Is the National Electric Code?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

As professional electricians, we always stress that homeowners must never attempt electrical repairs on their own without proper training, licensing, and equipment. This is principally to protect people from high voltage shocks and electrical fires. But it is also important that a house’s electrical system remain up to code.

But just what is this nebulous “code”? It isn’t so nebulous as you might think: it’s called the National Electric Code or the NEC. It helps keep you and your home safe through the standardization of electrical practices.

Whenever you need electricians in Shoreline, WA who will make sure that your home’ electrical system lives up to and beyond the safety standards of the National Electric Code, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We can handle all your needs for electrical repairs and installation.

The National Electric Code

The NEC is not actually a part of U.S. law. It is a set of standards established by the National
Fire Protection Association starting in 1897 for the safe installation and repair of electrical wiring. Any state, municipality, city, or other jurisdiction can adopt the code and enforce it. A jurisdiction can choose to amend or reject the code at its discretion.

Essentially, the NEC is a collection of what the top experts in fire prevention in the country consider the best standards for safety in electrical wiring, and this set of standards is collected and made available to local governments to use as part of local laws at their discretion. The code is updated every three years, and the current NEC is available to the public in a bound book containing over a thousand pages. The code is also available online through the NFPA’s website.

What Does All This Mean For You?

It depends on your jurisdiction. Your city, state, or municipality will have its own version of the code and its own method of enforcement. Nobody expects you to go read the entire NEC online: local electricians will know how the code is used in their jurisdictions. This knowledge is one of the qualities that separates professional electricians from amateurs. While performing repairs and installations, trained and licensed electricians will make certain that the work done keeps a building within the restrictions of the local version of the NEC.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has worked in the Puget Sound Area since 1977. Our electricians are familiar with all the local rules, regulations, and codes. You can trust them to keep your home and family safe with any work that they do.

Electrical work is too important to leave to anybody except the most skilled technicians. The next time you need electricians in Shoreline, WA, look to us for the quality service you need.

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